Beef Enchilada Mac’n’Cheese

Happy Tuesday! Tuesday is not really that great of a day, if you are in a traditional Mon-Fri workweek. It’s not quite “hump day” and it’s still just the blah beginning of the week and Friday is not in sight yet. Well, maybe that’s just Tuesday in my world…who knows?


Something that’s NOT blah is this Beef Enchilada Mac’n’Cheese from Shugary Sweets! I get it…it sounds weird. Beef…enchiladas…macaroni and cheese…but really, who doesn’t love those things?? If that’s the case, then why not combine them, amirite? This Shugary Sweets blogger came up with this sheer genius idea to put Mexican into mac’n’cheese. Really, you can make anything into a fusion dish, and this is so simple and yet so amazing, so it totally works.

I made this a REALLY long time ago and don’t remember a lot of specific details, but I do remember it tasted exactly like enchiladas in the form of mac’n’cheese. So there’s that. I did use a different type of pasta because it’s what I had on hand, and I think the pictures would have come out prettier had I used the cute shells that the original blogger did, but if you want really good pictures, then I definitely recommend clicking on the link above.

This is super simple to whip together on an otherwise boring weeknight. By the way, the original blogger says it serves 6…I say it serves 6, only if you’re lucky – you’ll want to gobble this right up!


Beef Enchilada Mac’n’Cheese

serves 4

-1lb medium shells, cooked and drained
-2cu heavy cream
-2cu colby jack cheese, shredded
-1 can (10oz) red enchilada sauce
-1lb ground beef, cooked and drained
-1tsp ground cumin
-1tsp kosher salt

-In a large pot, heat the cream, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt on medium heat. Whisking often, heat until mixture just begins to bubble.
-Reduce the heat to medium low and add in cheese, then stir until smooth. Mix in the cooked ground beef and the cooked noodles.
-Serve hot.

Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad

I have been so obsessed with the show Young and Hungry lately. It’s on “real TV” but I only discovered it when it came on Netflix. It is the dumbest, cutest show ever, and I just cannot get enough! I will say, it can get annoying to watch all the purposefully orchestrated mishaps and miscommunications, but that’s why we come back and watch each week, right? Well, for me it is more like binge-watching the entire season in a week.😉😉


In any case, while you are binge-watching whatever your favourite show is, you can prep and/or make this Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad by Tasty! I don’t usually make recipes I find on Facebook, but I saw this one and it looked delicious!! It also looked like the perfect make-ahead dish for work lunches. I used to eat Smart Ones on a regular basis, and while they feel way less processed (and are healthier) than the other frozen meal options, I just get tired of frozen meals, but at the same time, I don’t want to spend a ton of money and time making lunches.

Let’s just say – this dish takes a LOT of prep time. There is SO MUCH CHOPPING involved. I made this on a weekend and kept it in a huge bowl and everyday portioned it out into a small tupperware for lunch. It was actually pretty perfect for me, because my husband hates peppers and is also not a fan of Thai food, so I got to have it all to myself. I will admit, it got a little tiring after eating it 5 days in a row, but it was still tasty and a great meal to share with a large group if you don’t want to have it for lunches.


Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad

serves 5-6

-1/2cu creamy peanut butter
-1/4cu soy sauce
-1/4cu rice vinegar
-1tbsp sesame oil
-2tbsp Sriracha
-1/4cu water
-1tbsp minced ginger
-3 cloves minced garlic
-2tbsp brown sugar
-1 Box Whole Grain Linguine (or any pasta will do)
-1cu carrots, finely cut into matchsticks
-2 cucumbers, shaved using vegetable peeler
-1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
-1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
-1/2 cup green onion, sliced
-1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
-1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

-Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain and run cooked pasta under cold water to cool.
-Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, water, minced ginger, minced garlic, and brown sugar.
-Combine pasta with sliced vegetables, then pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and mix well. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. -Garnish with chopped cilantro and peanuts.

Honey Ginger Salmon

I am back from the dead!! It has been so long since I blogged, partially because my laptop was in the computer hospital (aka with a friend who was cleaning it up to make it run faster). I am so far behind in blogging but I will catch up soon, I hope! I am holding onto all sorts of delicious recipes and that’s kinda unfair. =P


I have no idea how long ago I made this honey ginger salmon by Chaos in the Kitchen and I don’t remember much about it except it was tasty! The flavour mixture is a great combination and it helps to have them cook in it, so they can retain some of those juices. Let me know what you think!


Honey Ginger Salmon

serves 2

-1/3 cup honey
-1tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
-1tbsp water
-1tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
-1 clove garlic, grated or minced
-8oz salmon

-Preheat the oven to 325F.
-Combine honey, lemon juice, water, ginger, and garlic and pour it into a baking dish.
-Place the salmon, skin side up, in the baking dish and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
-Turn the fish over, sprinkle with salt and bake for 7 minutes.
-Take the fish out of the oven and preheat your broiler. Meanwhile, brush the fish with honey mixture from baking dish, then broil until the fillets are browned and flake easily, about 7 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Pear and Pomegranate Tacos

I had to think about whether I wanted to post tacos two days in a row on here, but decided, “What the heck?” Tacos are delicious and specialty tacos are even more delicious! It also just occurred to me it is the second day in a row of fruit salsa. If you read yesterday’s post about the mango salsa, then you definitely know I love fruit salsa! It is a great combination with a faint touch of sweet, hint of zest, and just all-around yummyness.


The original blogger of these tacos from Gimme Some Oven titled them “Christmas Tacos” because they kind of look like Christmas! She also made them as little “taco boats” too, which would make a great appetizer! I think that counts as a different recipe, therefore I could sort of make this again and it would NOT be the same dish twice.


The flavours came together so well – with the sweet tartness of the salsa, the protein-filled chicken, the punch that feta cheese packs (oh – I couldn’t find cojita cheese, so I subbed feta instead, which was also a great choice). It just works. I would love to put this salsa on everything! The only thing stopping me is that pomegranates take some time and effort to seed! Even all the easy “hack” ways are still a bit time consuming – but so worth it!


Pear and Pomegranate Tacos

serves 4

-Tortillas (any kind you like will work)
-1 large cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced or shredded
-1/4cu crumbled cotija cheese (I used feta)
-optional garnishes: fresh lime wedges, extra chopped fresh cilantro
For the salsa
-2 fresh pears (any kind), cored and diced
-1 fresh pomegranate, seeded
-half a red onion, diced
-1/2cu chopped fresh cilantro leaves
-juice of half a lime

-Cook and shred the chicken (I just baked it for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees).
-While the chicken is cooking, prepare the salsa by mixing all the ingredients together, then season with salt and pepper.
-To assemble the tortillas, add a layer of chicken, a few spoonfuls of the salsa, and top with cheese. Add your additional garnishes, then roll up and enjoy!

Crockpot Barbecue Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Crispy Onion Straws and Mango Salsa

The title of this recipe is a mouthful, am  I right?? Well, the entire dish was an amazing mouthful, so well worth the long name! This pulled pork taco dish comes from the amazing blogger over at How Sweet It Is. I am on-and-off obsessed with her recipes, because they are most often quite delicious, and she is a funny and quirky writer. The downside is that they are often very elaborate dishes and not usually “everyday” kind of dinners. My husband and I had an at home date night last Friday and I decided to make these and we watched Divergent (we are watching the second one tonight, and I cannot wait for the third one to hit the theatres!).


This dish is AMAZING. Seriously, it’s amazing. But it is also a heck of a lot of work, so be prepared for that. I did realize that going in. The pork itself is pretty simple because it just cooks away all day in the crockpot. The mango salsa is a bit time-consuming to chop and throw together but pretty basic. Can I also say that I just love fruit salsas? A close friend of mine haaaaates them (you know who you are ;)) but I just love them. They are definitely not sweet (as most of you know, I hate overly sweet things), and the onion, cilantro, etc. that is also in them usually counteracts any sweetness. I will say that one mango is perhaps not enough, because the mango did not get to shine enough, but I ended up adding extra onion too, since I had some leftover.



But let’s talk about the onions. Oh, the onions. They are WORK, my friends. I stood over the stove for what felt like forever frying up these babies. I used a stock pot, but an entire onion thinly sliced takes awhile to fry. I also want to mention that adding the salt as soon as each batch is done frying is essential. I taste-tested one (ok, ok, a lot) pre-salt and taste-tested some post-salt, and the post-salt definitely won me over. I didn’t use much, just a quick grind, but it really packs a punch on the hot, fresh from the frying oil coated onions. That being said, they are definitely essential for these tacos. Yes, store-bought is WAY easier, but you will not be sorry for frying up these babies. Keep in mind to only make what you will use for that serving, as they don’t really re-heat super well.

BBQ Beer Pulled Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa and Crispy Onion Straws

serves a lot (we still have leftovers from 3 days ago)

-1 (3-4lbs) pork shoulder roast (mine was boneless)
-1tbsp onion powder
-1tbsp smoked paprika
-1tsp garlic powder
-1/2tsp salt
-1/2tsp pepper
-12oz beer (I used rootbeer which made it a bit sweeter, but still good)
-32oz barbecue sauce + additional for drizzling
-small flour or corn tortillas
-4-6oz freshly grated cheddar cheese
-1 batch of crispy onion straws (see below)
For the mango salsa
-1 mango, peeled and chopped
-1/4 red onion, finely diced
-1/2 jalapeño, finely diced (I omitted, because my husband doesn’t like that much heat)
-1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
-the juice of 1 lime
-1/4tsp salt
-1/4tsp pepper

-Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear the pork on every side (about 2-3 minutes per side) until golden brown before adding to the crockpot.
-Add pork to crockpot with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8+ hours, tossing once or twice if desired.
-After 8 hours, shred pork with forks and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss pork to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to absorb everything. Remove bone (if bone-in) before serving.
-Combine all of the mango salsa ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix. **It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days**
**You can make the onion straws and mango salsa a few hours in advance, if desired**
-To assemble your tacos, layer pork, mango salsa, cheddar cheese, and onion straws on the tortilla, fold up, and enjoy!

The crispy onion straws come from the genius blogger, My Life as a Mrs.


Crispy Onion Straws

serves 4

-1 large red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
-1.5cu lowfat buttermilk (I made my own using a mix of regular milk and lemon juice)
-2cu flour
-1.5tbsp garlic powder
-1.5tbsp salt
-1tsp black pepper
-1tsp cayenne (optional – I couldn’t even taste it)
-canola oil for frying
-additional salt

-Preheat oil in a deep pot to 350°.
-Add onions and buttermilk to a large bowl and toss until combined. In a second bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
-In small batches, take the buttermilk coated onions and dredge in the seasoned flour (shaking to remove excess flour), and fry for 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 minutes on each side (or until golden and crispy). Place on a paper towel line platter and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. Repeat until all onions are golden and crispy.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza

I’m back and ready to blog! I went on quite a long hiatus as you can tell, but I am back and want to continue documenting the dishes I create, as it is pretty fun and interesting to look back on. I just hope I can match all the dishes to the pictures I’ve taken over the past several months, and I will do the best I can.

Today I am writing about the roasted garlic chicken pesto pizza from Sugar Cooking. It was truly so delicious – and so easy to make! My husband helped a lot with this dish, as he cooked the chicken and roasted the garlic because I was late getting home from work that night, and it was a success! It ended up being very oily because I used the entire small jar of garlic which was probably about double what the recipe calls for. But who doesn’t love pesto?? The roasted garlic, however, got a little drowned out because of the excess pesto, but it was still delicious. Unfortunately, I didn’t venture out and make my own pizza crust, but I used whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s. Inexpensive, easy, and delicious!


Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza

serves 3-4

-1 pizza dough
-1/2cu prepared pesto
-1 bulb of garlic
-1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed
-Mozzarella cheese
-Parmesan cheese

-To roast the garlic, peel the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut a little off the top of the bulb, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Set on a piece of foil, drizzle with some olive oil, and cover with the foil. Bake on a baking sheet at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Remove garlic gloves and smash with a fork.
-Spread roasted garlic over pizza dough, then spread over the pesto.
-Arrange the sliced or shredded chicken evenly over the pizza.
-Sprinkle with mozzarella and top with parmesan.
-Bake on preheated pizza stone for 8 – 12 minutes.

Sizzling Steak Marinade

Right now, I am sitting on the couch watching Beverly Hills, 90210 on Hulu Plus (I am almost done with the first season). I have watched all ten seasons, of course, but I am so excited to re-start the entire series now that it is available to stream. My dog is laying next to me on the couch snoring to his heart’s content. It is the cutest. Welcome to my Sunday (even though you won’t be reading this until Monday).


I have cooked far less than usual lately, so I decided to get back into the swing of meal planning by cooking this Mom’s Sizzling Steak Marinade by Six Sisters’ Stuff. It was…well…to be perfectly honest, my husband and I couldn’t even finish eating it. We tried really hard and ate over half of our respective steaks, and then went to grab McDonald’s. I have never had a problem with a recipe by Six Sisters’ Stuff before, so I am pretty sure it may just be a fluke.

It was so, so, so sour. At first, it just seemed a bit tart, and then it just got plain sour and was hard to swallow. It was like eating a dinner of Warheads prior to getting to the sweet candy center. The lemon juice and vinegar combination was just too much for us to handle. Granted – there are some alterations I made that may have played a role.

First of all, I used less than one pound of steak and did not change the marinade amount at all, therefore there was less meat to soak up the marinade. However, with how incredibly sour it was, it is hard to believe that more meat would soak it up entirely and evenly to make it not sour at all. I am curious to know if it works, but I will likely not give it a shot, since I am a little wary at this point.


Second of all, I substituted red wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar, as I didn’t have any cider vinegar, and this may have affected it a little as well, however in many cases, vinegar is vinegar, so I am not sure how much of a difference it would have made.

The other downside to this dish was not the recipe but rather the cook. Our grill is out of propane, so I decided to pan-sear the steaks and googled various ways to do this. One site said to sear each side on high for one minute each, then turn down the temperature to medium and continue to cook one minute per side, until each side has been cooked about 2-3 minutes, for a medium doneness. Well…let’s just say that didn’t happen. My husband’s steak turned out medium well and mine turned out almost well done (since mine had broken into two smaller pieces, they cooked much faster).

So there we are…eating sour, overcooked, non-juicy steak. To make matters worse, I had decided to boil the marinade to make into a gravy for the rice I was serving it with (before I had realized how sour it all was). I added in several tablespoons of flour to thicken the marinade, which really did turn out to be a great looking gravy, but definitely ruined the rice for us as well.

As a final note, when we returned from McDonald’s later that night, the entire apartment reeked of vinegar. What happened??? If you are looking for a surefire steak recipe, go with this juicy marinated steak recipe also from Six Sisters’ Stuff and is linked on the other recipe page. It looks much better and I wish I had gone with that!


Sizzling Steak Marinade


-1.5cu vegetable oil
-1/4cu Worcestershire sauce
-1tsp ground pepper
-1/2cu apple cider vinegar
-3/4cu soy sauce
-2tbsp dry ground mustard
-1/3cu lemon juice

-Mix all ingredients together in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and add 2 pounds of steak.
-Refrigerate the steak and marinade for 8-24 hours.
-Grill over medium-high heat to your liking.